anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Depth

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Illustration Friday - Depth

When I was a little girl, I thought it would be wonderful to be a mermaid. I wasn't really thinking about the whole idea of living underwater...I just really wanted that tail! According to the various pictures I had seen of mermaids, their tails came in myriad colors ranging from reds and magentas to most shimmering shades of blue and turquoise. They were slinky and sparkly, firm but translucent at the bottom, and totally irrestible to a child who adored dressing in costumes. So one summer while on vacation by the ocean, I spent a great deal of time sketching mermaids and designing a mermaid costume that I planned to make when I got home.

To be honest, I don't remember why I never made the costume; all I remember is dreaming about the stretchy metallic bue and green fabric that I hoped to find somewhere and use for my project. Perhaps I was sidetracked by my determination to find the end of the rainbow (this is true...I was sure it was near a sand cliff way down at the farthest end of the beach) or by the excitement of listening to Beatles records with my summer friend in her little playroom in the hotel her mother managed. Whatever the reason was, I have not since drawn a picture of a mermaid. So my offering for this week's Illustration Friday is also a nod to the girl was never afraid to let her imagination lead the way.


Blogger Queenie said...

She looks just like you.


8:57 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Fantastic! I really love this one. I haven't even come up with an idea yet. I'm jealous.

8:58 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I love that you seem to incorporate yourself in your work -- like Alfred Hitchcock's cameos in all his films. I had a life drawing teacher once who always accused me of elongating my figures in my own image. Your work also has that stamp of Carla -- unmistakably yours.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Big Harry H said...

I love the line "let her imagination lead the way"... I think that's so important.

Everytime I'm fishing, (which is often) I always joke when we aren't able to pull a fish in that it's a mermaid!!!

I'm always disappointed because i would love to have a conversation with her... and see those boobies!!!! LOL

Love the drawing - you rule!

Big Harry

9:51 PM  
Blogger Rowantree said...

Nice illo, thanks for sharin your stories !

12:01 AM  
Blogger christina said...

This is so gorgeous. Your style is very unique. Almost print like. I can also imagine it on a graphic t-shirt...I've loved finding your blog. Thanks for stopping by mine. It's been delightlful to meander through your illustrations & ponderings.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Paula said...

I adored mermaids too when I was little and sometimes I still hope to find one swimming around somewhere! lol! Thanks for your comments! I like your illustration. ;)

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Paige Keiser said...

Very nice illo. Carla!

3:29 AM  
Blogger miragee said...

Carla, I love your women. They are always so ethereal and beautiful in a very unworldly way. I wonder how men look like under your pen:-).

8:16 AM  
Blogger Wailin' Rob Jones said...

Another great piece, surfacing from the depths. I really dig the way you handled her hair, wonderful colors too.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

such depth to your story going back and remembering your mermaid imaginations. I agree with 'miragee' about your illustrations. They are so beautiful.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Leezy said...

Hi there!
Mermaids are one of my favorite too, I grew up on an island and often spent many summers wandering the shore line in hope of a glimpse and a wave beckoning me into the blue to swim and play beaneath the waves. The best I got was the sandcastles that I made of mermaids, but I think in my dreams, they let me know they were there and knew I was waiting for them. :)

I love this illo carla, along with your last two posts.

Great style on all counts. The compositions are really solid, the colors harmonize - beautiful!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Tony LaRocca said...

breathing underwater would be cool as hell. However, we probably wouldn't be able to go to the really cool depths, because of the water pressure. Or if we did, we'd never be able to come back. Ever seen a mermaid with the bends (or god forbid, an exploding mermaid?) Don't you hate when science gets in the way of a perfectly goddamned good dream?

11:31 AM  
Blogger Alison Ashwell said...

I think it would be wonderful to be a mermaid -ideally one that can shift between sea and land at will

11:59 AM  
Blogger isay said...

really awesome carla! The tail is perfect and the hair as usual is lovely. and the dolphin- it is outstandingly beautiful.

12:29 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Thanks for your comments, my friends! I had fun doing this one, even though it took a long time. The tail has a lot of layers and so on.

Queenie, Andrea and Miragee..sometimes I do self portraits on purpose, but most often I just end up drawing women who look kind of like me. Odd, because I'm really not that self-centered! I think it's a matter of drawing what's most familiar. As far as drawing male figures...well, they're usually more caricatures or too feminine looking, so that's something I really have to work on. That's another odd thing, because I don't think I have any issues in that department!

Except...Harry and're just like I'd expect a guy to be...fantasizing about mermaids as sex objects! I mean, really... I have an assignment for you: read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and tell me why I told you to read it. :>

Leezy, that must have been fun making those sandcastles. They're definitely temporary installations!

Thanks again :>>>>>>

12:35 PM  
Blogger kay susan said...

Is this how you thought you would look in your childhood dream? Its a nice story and a lovely illustration.

12:43 PM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

So does this mean you've stopped looking for mermaids by that cliff at the end of the beach? Maybe there's a few straggling faeries around your petunia garden. How do you know if you stop looking? I'll bet you'll see one more mermaid if you do look.

12:52 PM  
Blogger coffee81 said...

I've always adore mermaids for their beauty and of course, their tails. I like the colour as much as you do.

Sometimes, I would imagine myself of being a mermaid, swimming freely in the sea. I like the blue water. The ocean's so clean and sometimes I thought why not built a home in the sea!

well done on this piece. I like the combination of colour and your dream while you were a kid. It does bring back some forgotten memories :)

thank you :)

do visit and comment on mine :)

8:36 PM  
Blogger doodlegirl said...

Nice Illustration! I'm so happy you have never been afraid to let your imagination lead the way. You are headed in the right direction, ms mermaid!!


8:51 PM  
Blogger chan wah said...

Very beautiful art works and text. I really love it.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous aynaku said...

thanx for visiting my blog...I am involve with mermaids too...

5:46 AM  
Blogger Afterthoughts Ltd. said...

The greatest thing about life is, each day starts a new beginning. Therefore, you can wake up any day and still search for the end of the rainbow, or worst case, play those Beatle records!

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wispy, flowing kelp hair is a really nice touch, Carla. I also like that the dolphin is giving me a very sly grin as his beautiful passenger hitches a ride. Completely "you" as always!

12:56 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

I really admire your great sense of color. I think the shades you choose for this image are exactly the ones I would imagine and, furthermore, they play off one another beautifully.

I've often had the same feeling, where I will suddenly remember a project I had in mind once or something I always wanted to do, that I just never did. I think remembering those fleeting obsessions by writing about them, can give us the best part of the project in the first place: the feelings it inspired within us.

I think your blog is fantastic and I really, really appreciate all the encouragement and kind words you've given me on mine.

2:11 PM  
Blogger raim said...

Thanks for your comment at my first illu.
Good drawings...

4:30 PM  

sweet illo! my sister wanted to be a mermaid too. she was 6 and watched the little mermaid non stop. but then she watched beauty and the beast and she wanted to be a beast. or was it belle? not really sure anymore. anyhoo, dig the illo.

7:05 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

Your work continues to delight, inspire and entrall. With each new one I learn more about you, me and everyone.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

When do you ge ttime to do this during the school year?

12:35 AM  
Blogger pinknpretty said...

This is awesome, Carla! I love how you can make your illustrations look so much like yourself.

1:10 AM  
Blogger PaintMonster said...

woo yeah beautiful take!
especially her tail texture(clothing pattern) is great!!!

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Ginger *:) said...

I like this painting and the composition as well. It almost looks like your sea creature has seaweed entwined in her hair. There is an exceptional feeling of serenity in your work.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Mustashrik said...

nice job and subject matter carla. mermaids are one of those fantastical wonders which are so lovely to illustrate as they can seem anyway you want them to be!

i think most girls wanted to be mermaids and most boys wanted to have a mermaid


8:00 AM  
Blogger Audiogirl said...

i'm in love with the colors in the hair!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Lora said...

Nice painting.. I love it... thanks for visitng my site :)

11:44 AM  
Blogger Shano said...

Beautiful! Love the softness- It evokes feelings of calm.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carla - this so nice, i am with you on being a mermaid, as i age i think it would be lovely to live in cool water...

Keep up your great work! Love it.
thanks for your nice comments on my blog recently, i am honored.
ifriar and edmer :)

5:48 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

your work is beautiful

7:30 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

Carla, this is beautifully designed - the circular shape and aqua colour that permeate the picture reall helps to bring out the feeling of "Depth." I love the way you've drawn the two figures and their large tail flukes - you draw a lovely mermaid who also looks like a viable species!

I recently did a mermaid for the cover of a small press comic (it may appear on my blog in the near future, all going well), so they're on my mind at present...

You should do some more of them!

1:19 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

I love your work more and more each week. I had the fantasy of being a mermaid when I was a young girl as well. This is beautifully done!

3:19 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Those scales on that mermaid look wonderful, very elegant illustration Carla.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Seth Russell said...

Very beautiful. Makes me wonder what's really in the ocean that we havn't seen yet. Great use of colors also.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Valaine said...

This is so lovely! I too wanted to be a mermaid, but only after watching "Splash" the movie. This piece you have created is very inviting, the colors are soft and peaceful. I'm so glad that you are apart of Illustration Friday! I want you to know that I appreciate the time you have taken to write to me! I look forward to your works and your words ^_^

12:34 PM  
Blogger bee'nme said...

Gorgeous in every way! You've made another thoroughly enjoyable piece of art!

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am being attracted and sucked in by the way you have made her tail translucent. light, floating freely and just mermaidlike..
I kind of imagine you as the mermaid, and swimming in te depths of your muse, imagination and poetic thoughts.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

i love her! i used pretend to be a mermaid too in my pool and when Splash came out I watched it over and over and over...

Beautiful work.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Fossfor said...

I love this, it reminds me of mosaics from ancient Greece, maybe that's because of the way you drew the dolphin, and the colors are lovely

11:49 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Luv the huge fins at the end of the mermaids tail, most people might have made a small fin, but this looks better!

You did an incredible amount of detail on the scales on her torso and hip/thigh area, wonderful !

9:35 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

the image alone is beautiful - like a child's wonderings - profound simplicity.

the story makes the image that much richer!

as always, thanks for the thoughtful comments at my site.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

Lovely illustration!! :)

2:35 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

Your work is so vivid and colorful - have you ever illustrated professionally?

I found you by the way of your comments left at my friend Jaimie's blog ( I've considered submitting my artwork for illustration Fridays but you and Jaimie put my work to shame!

9:36 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh, wow! So beautiful...I could see this as stained glass...

By the way, I'm tagging you! You can read about it on my blog! : )

9:24 PM  

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